Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Free Speech

First, the Bear is pleased that we were able to discuss the New Jew View document in a responsible manner, more or less. The Bear is only responsible for his own comments. He believes people should have their say, so has only ever moderated one comment.

The Bear has noticed that Pope Francis' amen corner has talked about celebrating the Year of Mercy by giving up sarcasm. ("Did you know it means to strip the flesh off?") It goes without saying that any other form of hurtful speech is banned. In fact, just avoid any criticism at all.

The Bear might suspect this constant monitoring by speech nannies is designed to chill discussion altogether, except for happy thoughts about the Church of Mercy. (That was sarcasm. Not particularly elegant, but effective in small doses.)

The Bear reserves the right to employ whatever kind of speech that most effectively communicates his ideas and entertains the masses. If, as the Bear learned in law school, a person may be prosecuted for shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire, surely one is more derelict in failing to shout "fire!" when the theater really is burning down.

Parody, agitprop, metonymy, hyperbole, metaphor, sarcasm, understatement, spoonerisms, and good old fashioned Bear show patter all have their place under the Big Top that is St. Corbinian's Bear's Blog.

Don't let them cow you for a second. These are mublic patters by fublic pigures, indeed figures whose chief delight seems to be saying all manner of curious things to the public. Public comment is fair, and every medium has its own idiom. Blogging should be responsible, but it should not be taken for a newspaper, or a television show, or any other relic. Entertaining and informative blogs will thrive, and no amount of pumping sunshine up the others will garner anything but a conspiracy of cows.

Further the Bear saith not.


  1. Though new to commenting, I already feel an accomplished blogger. I was banned from National Catholic Register after declaring the untruthfulness of Jimmy Akins' assertion that the Holocaust was an example of Christian persecution of Jews.

    1. Mr. Akins published an article concerning the Vatican's policy towards the Jews on National Catholic Register; he listed several points which he felt Catholics should understand about the document. In one of them he mentioned Christian persecution of the Jews, in which he included the Holocaust. I protested the inclusion of the Holocaust as an example of Christian persecution, saying it was untrue. Me response was not published, I only assume it was banned.

    2. I withdrew my statement about being banned. I just checked NCR and my comment there was recently published, several hours after I posted it.

    3. Ah, yes, the great Christian leader Adolph Hitler. On a completely different subject, can we finally have Pope Pius XII made a saint now that we've got the V2 saints taken care of? Who would possibly object?

    4. Would you give us the NCR date please. I admire CA including Jimmy Atkins. Not to say that he couldn't make mistakes. Who doesn't? I would like to read his article for myself. God bless.

  2. Boy you have such a gift for words. Reading your comments, it makes one wonder if you are the life of the party, or the guy in the corner not talking to anybody, who can't wait to get out of there. :)

    1. Bears are always the life of the party. No one really has any choice.

  3. The Bear will forgive me I trust if I take this occasion to offer a link to a piece which was published by The Aggie Catholic Blog in July 2014 which addresses the question of whether Jesus Himself employed sarcasm in His teachings and retorts to critics. And the answer is...



    1. Indeed, Your Honor. Sarcasm is self-limiting, because beyond just a bit sounds mean. For sustained abuse you really need parody, or even comedic dialogue. The Bear takes endless delight in word smithing. Ah, he was formidable in his courtroom days. He enjoys addressing more than 12 good and true at a time, though.

    2. As a young judge I was schooled by a jurist of great insight, razor-sharp wit, and possessed of immense practicality.

      The best advice he imparted to me was to write my opinions clearly and concisely in plain language and to avoid putting on 'intellectual' airs. He said a judge's opinion ought be so comprehensible to every man that were it to fall out of the case records file and blow along the streets any layman retrieving it from the rubbish would be able to understand the facts and issues discussed.

      At the same time; however, he told me to have fun and enjoyed a bit of wordplay in an opinion or discussion.

      I would labour for hours at times for the precise word or concept I wanted to convey. I loved word smithing as you do Bear.

      Some years later, upon his retirement from the bench, my old mentor took me aside and gave me his last lesson: "Enjoy the art of adjudication for its own sake and to the extent it serves the truth. Most people will only read your Order to learn whether they've won or lost. The winners will go no further than your Order. The losers will read your opinion in depth seeking only errors of law or fact so that they may shred it to pieces as they take it up on appeal."

      I did so love the theatre.

    3. Good advice, Your Honor. The Bear's pole star in legal writing was always to simply help the judge reach the proper decision. Judges appreciated that, as the Bear is sure you'll agree. The Bear was once in a death penalty case (which he ultimately won) with a judge who kept telling him, "help me make the right decision." At a crucial juncture, the Bear stood up on his hind legs and said, "Your Honor, you frequently say you want help from the attorneys in making the right decision. I am respectfully offering that help right now, and trust that this Honorable Court will not find the question a close one."

      But, the Bear knew that judges have limited attention spans. (He was too frightened to consider just how limited that might be in some cases.) So he took pleasure in making his briefs interesting and memorable reads, so far as possible.

    4. As a judge I was one for pre-trial joint stipulations of facts where such could be had.

      For non-jury trials it never paid to have a limited attention span. Just as you were grappling with the thought of whether or not to purchase some bbq hot wings on the journey home someone would shout "Asked and Answered!" or "Leading!" or some other nonsense to end the reverie.

      I was a great fan for dangling bait by way of offering (non-jury trials) the parties the opportunity to submit post-trial Proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and yes...even a suggested Order provided they referenced the notes of testimony and cross-referenced exhibits of record and with the strict instruction that if I was burned by faux facts and references then the offending counsel would be grievously toasted by me in my subsequent adjudication.

      Quite frankly I was inevitably bright-eyed and bushy tailed for all of my various dockets except when the matter at hand involved accountants and their generally accepted accounting principles. Ponderous slogs made more ponderous because accountants often would rage at each other over the depreciated values of fixed assets, etc.

      Sometimes with all the mumbo jumbo I wasn't even able to determine what a Plaintiff wanted as relief; hence, the occasional need for a post-hearing Suggested Order.
      It was the best of times it was the worst of times, Bear, but the best bettered the worst.

  4. Subject: The Cult of the Bear.
    I was thinking. (Bad start) That in order to spread the 'Cult of the Bear' it might be worthwhile to designate his commenters as 'Bear Cubs'. Their mission would be to slip references to the Bears musings on comments they would make on Liberal Catholic sites. This way the Bear might get more readers and possibly more fish. This effort could be called an audience expansion strategy or something of the sort. Anyone have a comment?

    1. The Bear has thought about how to get people to "Share the Bear." Agitprop is a good way, since most of them have the SCB url. Just plop the image on your Facebook page, or whatever. I'll get more posted in the Agitprop section. It spreads good messages. Also, every article has convenient buttons to share on Facebook, Google or Twitter.

      Sharing the Bear helps grow his audience and increase his overall impact. That means more Catholic truth gets published in Bearish style.

      I like the idea of posting on liberal sites. I often feel that our type of Catholicism is a closed loop online. We all circulate among the same type of websites and don't have much of an outreach or challenge to error. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

      The Bear is, with all due modesty, nearly unique in Catholic blogdom in being written by a large, adorable mammal. People might be intrigued by the Bear even if they're not completely on board with the Bear's opinions.

      Were there to be such an initiative, the Bear thinks "Bear Cubs" does not give due credit to such intrepid volunteers. "Bear Squad" sounds like an alternate universe 80's television show about park rangers. "Friends of Bear" easily becomes FOBs, which also stands for "Forward Operating Base." That appeals to the Bear's military history. The program could also be incentivized with free swag for reliable FOBs.

      The Bear does not even know if it violates blog etiquette to promote one's blog on the back of another. I know people do it at SCB, and I permit it, but it seems a bit rum, don't you know? Or is the Bear being overly punctilious?

  5. I'm wondering if the Pope's provincial perspective isn't showing again; or more correctly, whether or not a colloquialism isn't being badly translated (yet again). This is the danger with a man who likes to use common terms as a means of appearing to be "everyman."

    In Mexico, the word sarcasm is used colloquially to mean a particular type of disguised rudeness. It's something like mockery, but more damaging. People use it to insult you without your realizing it right away. I think it might be similar in other Latin American countries, such as Argentina.

    He's not bright, although he is crafty. He's not particularly articulate; he's certainly not a polyglot. But drat it all, the man's been in office long enough to realize he needs to be clear; I am really sick of this.

  6. Since the bear has a sense of humor and control of the
    delete button;

    Once upon a time there was a catholic bear who came upon a catholic church with a sign posted, Year of Mercy, sign in or risk being turned into a donkey. Fuming with rage, the bear broke the pencil and
    seated himself with his bible, his rosary and his Mother.


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